The Director of the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health, Professor Gary Wittert, has led a national multi-centre study to answer the question of whether testosterone can decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes in men, after two years of treatment. Co-Investigators include A/Prof Evan Atlantis, Dr Carolyn Allan, Prof Robert McLachlan, Dr Karen Bracken, Dr Alicia Jenkins, Prof Ann Conway, Prof David Handelsman, Prof Mark Daniel, Prof Mathis Grossmann, Prof Bronwyn Stuckey, Prof Bu Yeap, and Dr David Jesudason.

Type 2 diabetes is highly prevalent in men over the age of 50 which leads to serious health complications. Overall, 19,000 men were screened and 1007 men at high risk of diabetes were enrolled in a diet and exercise program provided by Weight Watchers (now WW). The men were randomised with half of the men were given testosterone injections and half placebo injections. All investigators and the participants were blinded to the treatment allocation.

When funded in 2010 by a grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Testosterone 4 Diabetes Mellitus Prevention Trial was the largest Commonwealth funded clinical trial in Australia. It is the largest trial of testosterone in men and has taken 10 years from concept to reporting of the main outcomes at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Diabetes Society on June 15.

The study found that diabetes among men at high risk can be prevented, and newly diagnosed diabetes can be reversed by testosterone. Beyond the lifestyle program alone, testosterone treatment reduced the risk of men progressing to diabetes by approximately 40%. This was partially due to favourable changes in body composition. Prof Wittert and Co-Investigators have stressed though that the best and safest way to prevent or reverse Type 2 diabetes is through healthy eating, along with regular strength training and aerobic activity.
Reductions in blood sugar and weight were seen in both groups, but the results were superior in the testosterone group. Men on testosterone gained muscle mass while losing fat, and gained small improvements in sexual function.

Professor Wittert has stressed that this is not a reason for doctors to start prescribing testosterone as there were complications of testosterone treatment. With 22% of men having an increase in red blood cells which potentially leads to sludgy blood and clots, he has cautioned against testosterone treatment being viewed as a “quick fix” against type 2 diabetes. Prof Wittert said that treatment with  testosterone might be an option for some men, but all men need a thorough physical and mental health assessment, and support to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The T4DM Study also received funding from Bayer AG, WW the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health at the University of Adelaide, and Eli Lilly. The study was conducted in association with the Uni of Adelaide, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Melbourne Uni, Austin Repatriation Hospital, Uni of Sydney, Concord Hospital, Uni of Western Australia, Fiona Stanley Hospital, the Keogh Institute, Uni of Queensland, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Monash Uni, the Hudson Institute, Canberra Uni and the NHMRC Clinical Trial Centre (NSW).

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Professor Robert Adams (affiliate), Professor of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine and the Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health, and Professor  Gary Wittert, Dr Tiffany Gill and Professor Catherine Hill from the University of Adelaide, and Professor Malcolm Battersby, Head of Psychiatry at Flinders University, have been awarded a Hospital Research Foundation grant for $50,000 to define how measures imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic have altered the trajectory of mental health and well-being of middle-aged and elderly South Australians.

The study, which will begin shortly, will be undertaken by interviewing participants of two longitudinal population cohort studies, the Florey Adelaide Male Ageing Study coordinated by the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health and the North West Adelaide Health Study, coordinated by the Population Research Outcomes Studies Unit which works in close partnership with the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health.

See the Hospital Research Foundation announcement here


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Click below to read the recent article posted on the Healthy Male Andrology Australia website

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The Director of the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health and Endocrinologist Professor Gary Wittert recently joined other national experts Professor Rob McLachlan, Medical Director of Healthy Male which provides resources on male reproductive and sexual health, and Professor Helena Teede, Women’s Health at Monash University, in talking to ABC Radio’s Cassie McCullagh all about testosterone. Specifically why testosterone is so […]

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The Centre welcomes Rianne de Heus who is visiting the FFCMH from The Netherlands to work as postdoctoral research fellow for 6 weeks. During her stay at the FFCMH, Rianne is working with Dr Phillip Tully to explore the association between blood pressure variability and brain health, especially dementia and cognitive impairment. It was recently […]

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There is clear evidence that supervised exercise not only reduces side effects of treatment but it improves the length of survival of men being treated for advanced prostate cancer. Supervised, individually prescribed exercise for people with chronic conditions including cancer should only be provided by exercise physiologists, to ensure safety and effectiveness. The costs and […]

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The Centre Management Group is very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Melissa Opozda to the position of Freemasons Men’s Health Post-doctoral Research Fellow. This is the 13th Fellowship funded by the Freemasons Foundation. Melissa is a also a health psychologist working in private practice and has been a post-doctoral researcher in the FFCMH since 2017. […]

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We congratulate Dr Prabin Gyawali on being awarded his PhD and for receiving the Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence. Dr Prabin Gyawali BSc, MSc, PhD Thesis:  Sex Hormone Binding Globulin – Regulation and role as a marker of chronic disease risk Supervisors: Professor Gary Wittert, Dr Sean Martin, Professor Leonie Hielbronn Summary: Until now Sex […]

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We congratulate Dr Amy Finlay on being awarded her PhD and for receiving the Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence. Amy Finlay BPsychSci, BHlthSc (Hon), PhD Thesis:  Prostate Cancer Health and Fitness Online: The development and pilot testing of an internet physical activity program for prostate cancer survivors. Supervisors: Dr Camille Short and Professor Gary Wittert […]

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The Centre congratulates Dr Rayzel Fernades on being awarded her PhD. Rayzel Fernandes BSc, MSc, PhD Thesis: The role of microRNA-194 in prostate cancer progression Superviors: Dr Luke Selth, Dr Theresa Hickey, Prof Wayne Tilley Summary: Rayzel’s project characterised the function of a small non-coding RNA molecule, microRNA-194 (miR-194), in prostate cancer. Using cutting-edge genomic […]

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